Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Who Needs Teddy Bears?

(Warning - I have the TV on and a heightened attention span problem...expect a few disjointed ramblings.)

I got a package in the mail today, which happened to contain yarn I purchased from Destash and promptly forgot all about.

Malabrigo. Colours so rich and/or vibrant I want to swim in them, yarn so soft I want to sleep with it. (No, no...in a cuddly way, thank you.) The comparison would be to Manos (or maybe Rio de la Plata), only infinitely softer. Better still, 215 yard skein for 5 BUCKS. (Er, Destash price. Retail is $12, I think.) It knits up like $5 cashmere. No, $5 cashmere would probably be pure crap. It knits up like not-$5 cashmere.

I was so anxious about the stuff I couldn't wait. I actually couldn't even be bothered to come up with a decent one-skein project for it - I just started whipping up a skinny scarf in a simple lace pattern from the summer Interweave.

(Side note: I just now caught the "Damian...Look at me, Damian....It's all for you" nanny sequence preview for The Omen. If that movie wasn't freaky enough the first time...and then there's the release date...yeesh.)

Anyway, back to things less creepy:


The colors aren't showing quite right, but they're close. The fact that I photographed it in poor light on a green blanket doesn't help...it's dusty pinks and smoky lavender colors, sort of a sophisticated version of pastel. I LOVE this skein - even the colours are similar to a cashmere (which is WAY not $5) that I've been eyeing at my LYS. I was so sure I'd love this stuff that I bought both skeins the seller had - the other is crazy magenta and hot pinks, and I even love that. (I also love my Lantern Moon needles, which are super pointy, a lovely thing for size 11 wooden needles to be. Even if they are slippery as Ken Lay.)


My camera afforded a rare moment of stitch clarity. Figured it was worth sharing.

(Does the world need another Fast and Furious movie? I remain of the belief we didn't need the first two. This is why I avoid commercials...I see too many things advertised that distress me.)

I'm too upset about Hollywood sequels right now...I can't go on. Back to my lovely, lovely Malabrigo!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Odessa On The Town

Odessa took her first journey today, and we celebrated her birthday (a day after mine...she was a late arrival.)

Odessa went to the final day of the Fringe, seeing the Blue Venue Patron's Pick, the hilariously funny and clever Mark Baratelli's Improv Cabaret. (It was Odessa's first time seeing the show, but my third - I LOVED the guy.)


Odessa wishes I'd fixed my hair before this photo, and she felt I was trying to make her look bad.

Odessa was photographed with my Travis, with whom she flirted mercilessly all day. Trollop.


Odessa explored the limits of bad taste on a furniture shopping excursion. (Excuse the fuzz - I had to turn the flash off in order to not arouse the suspicion of disinterested salespersons.)


(It's worth clicking on for a closer look...everything is covered in faux marble cherubs. If this is your thing, I apologize...but if this is your thing, MAN you're into some tacky shit.)

Odessa enjoyed a birthday lunch (and my own belated birthday meal, as we chose to celebrate last night with a group of friends rather than just the two of us as previously planned) at the Cheesecake Factory, where she was treated to a lovely surprise (which led to Travis being dispatched back to the car to fetch the camera before the whole thing went up in flames):


(I love the chocolate balloons on the left side of the plate.)

Beautiful as it was, it met a tragic demise:


Odessa and I pleaded to be allowed a few bites, but the reaction was rather hostile and unaccomodating:


I'm asking you to believe that I didn't eat about 2/3 of this thing before allowing Travis in on it. Please? (See Also: complaints of "inexplicable and sudden" weight gain.)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Hey, Hey, They Say It's My Birthday!

First phone call rolled in at 12:02 a.m. - Travis' mother, wanting to be the first to wish me happy birthday. Then at 7:30, Mom rang from some other part of the world - Turkey? - and was horrified when I answered the phone, as she'd intended to leave a message, having no idea what time it was here. (She got lucky - I was already stirring...though not in any way coherent.)

Did I give any stats on my belt? I didn't....it was knit in Noro Silk Garden Lite on size...um...seven?...bamboo Takumis (and Kaethe, that was the belt in progress, looking rather like a snake.) Oh, and it was way too long, as it turns out - stretched itself out throughout the day and the looped-through end wound up wrapped around almost to my back.

I'm working on something for myself for my birthday, and I'm hoping to have it finished in time. Did someone say the Odessa hat is a quick knit? So am I just a special-needs knitter? Maybe it's the 110 stitches - hats to me are not meant to be knit in DK weight. But it's turning out beautifully in Cashcotton - not Cashsoft...erm, oops...but I don't think Doni carries Cashsoft anyway. She was, however, in a good mood on Friday, and she let me escape with a couple of older Interweave and Vogue Knitting issues for $3 each.

Oh, and Doni's summer hours also allow for "Special Appointment" times. My God, the idea of having the closed shop open just for me to purchase whatever suits me....I need to have a little lie-down. Hang on.

Okay, here's some big news - I built a Real spindle. (Yes, I was just kidding with the silly DPN-and-Sculpey spindle of a few weeks ago.) I also ordered a bit of batt from Pure Knits. I'll probably need to shave a few inches off of this thing, but it seems pretty well-balanced, so I'm leaving it as-is for now. I'm anxious to receive my order and start spinning!


Oh, and sleeping with the skein of sock yarn I added to the order...by the way, Pure Knits has a 500-plus yard skein of 100% cashmere sock yarn for $30. Consider yourself enabled. I'll be making super-short ankle socks and a matching scarf. And if there's a bit of yarn left over from all the stuff I knit for me (ha), there will be baby socks.

I also picked up a charcoal-coloured skein of Greenwood sock. Finally, Travis will know the joy of the Greenwood sock. Oh, and yes, I did only last two weeks on my sock yarn ban. But let's be honest, that was 13 days longer than we all figured I would last.

Also, Destash is the greatest site ever. Other's people's trash stash is my treasure. So far, I've picked up three skeins of Art Fibers tussah silk (in an AMAZING colour) and some Addi Turbos for a steal, plus the six skeins of Debbie Bliss I just nabbed for $18, and the two skeins of Malabrigo for $5 each....I LOVE that place.

I've just been presented with a tall glass of iced milk and a chocolate-chunk-and-banana pancake from scratch. Birthday breakfast is shaping up nicely....[I taught him everything he knows....I'm so proud. (*sob*) No seriously...the man could barely boil water. Now look at him. (*sob sob*)]


I felt like including a photo of my family...this is from last weekend, at Travis's sister Danielle's middle school graduation. (I was confused by that idea, but I went along with it.) Travis, his MOTHER (I know, she looks younger than I do) and his little sister. Ain't they so PRETTY?

*Update: That pancake was closely followed by a plate of apples and brie...and the declaration that an apple pancake would be next. And thanks to the hardwood floors, I can hear him singing and dancing in the kitchen. (Or something caught fire and he's panicking.)

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Let us first begin with my sorry-ass progress on Eleanora:


Yeah, I know.

How about something pretty nature made?


Sigh. I love peonies.

How about a snake?


How about the fact that I received a personal email from Yarn Harlot today?? She responded by email to a comment I made on her blog today. Travis is the best man EVER for being impressed immediately, without any explanation as to who the Yarn Harlot is. (He's used to seeing her books strewn about the house.) I think he was sort of amused at my excitement as I explained - "See, she's a writer, and she wrote special words that were intended just for me. That's like if you bumped into Julia Roberts on the street, and she performed a little improv scene just for you!"

Which reminds me, I saw Gregory Peck walking through the lobby of a hotel in Vegas several years ago. I was temporarily paralyzed with respect and awe - he was so regal and impressive a man, even in his late years. (He was with his family, so I couldn't possibly have disturbed him...just sharing a lobby with him felt like an honor.) "Starstruck" isn't my thing, but sharing a room with an icon (with well-deserved status) did make me feel special in a way that seeing Deion Sanders in a fur coat on the streets of New York or nearly getting kneecapped by Carrot Top at the gym (I'll have to tell that story someday) didn't.

But I digress....


Done! (Note: I actually did want it to have sort of a sloppy handmade look to the whipstitching.) I attempted to find D-rings that I liked, and decided on something else, then I stumbled onto a belt kit at Joann's. Literally - I collided with a display of sale items and found a kit with a bit of wide ribbon and that buckle...for three bucks, CHEAPER than the makeshift D-rings I'd settled for. And it was EXACTLY what I was looking for. (And with bonus ribbon!)

Crotch shot!


I had, ah, sort of a difficult time getting a decent picture of the belt as modeled. Sorry. So here it is, in all its useless glory, bravely holding up a pair of rapidly tightening pants that USED to be my fat pants...but somehow I seem to have started expanding at a frighteningly rapid rate. (Time to make more regular appearances at the gym...)

Digressing again...


Oh, and you should know that I didn't actually bother changing out of my jammies top for this picture. The artful photographs of accessories outdoor amidst flower bushes, sweaters modeled in the woods? Yeah, not me. I want pictures now, and moving on.......

I Need To Go Home RIGHT NOW

You know how it is, you're at work and you find the PERFECT PATTERN and you have the PERFECT YARN in your stash and you NEED TO start that project THIS MINUTE.

Susan presented me with, among other amazing things, this book today as a birthday gift:


There are about 30 things in here I NEED to make right away. (I know, the cover's a little creepy, with the army of dead-eyed knitted dolls staring back at you - but you gotta trust me, every single thing in here is a gem. I love the elephant, and the kangaroo, and the starfish, and the sailor doll clothes, and the fish, and the and the and the.)

I also got a needle case (huzzah, organization!), the Spring Vogue Knitting, and the Spring Knitter's magazine. And a Napoleon Dynamite birthday card. (Hee.) I'm so excited I could plotz.

Fringe is so amazing - I've seen about six shows so far, and all of them were really wonderful. I was supposed to see some shows last night, but Travis called and reported that Little Bit was very sick, so I headed home. "Very sick" translated to "yakked a little, but is acting just fine and eating just fine," so I think "Little Bit's acting funny and threw up blood" translated to, "I'm tired of being home alone all the time and you should come home and spend time with me instead of going to Fringe." So I did. And I'm glad - a friend of mine is leaving for Atlantic City to perform for four weeks, so we had dinner with her and her family last night, and that's more important than Fringeing. I'm back to the grind tonight....a show tonight, a show Friday (and a volunteer shift), then two Fringe shows Saturday and four on Sunday. Oh, and let's not forget the matinee show at a local theatre on Saturday that I also have to see, starring three dear friends. Then I shall NEVER set foot in another theatre again! (Until June 2, when I'm seeing another show in town. Oh, and the show in Gainesville I'm going to try to see. Oh, and.....)

Okay, I'm a Knitter now, but part of me will always be a Drama Queen.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More Dull Posts With No Pictures. Super.

I have still accomplished precisely squat. Two hours of knitting that damned cabled belt last night got me only marginally closer to finished. Stupid thing, with its 12-stitch width and the turning, turning, turning. And of course I keep forgetting my camera so I can't take funny pictures of myself knitting surrounded by drag queens and giant blow-up Godzillas. (Seriously, I LOVE the Fringe.) And I'm so busy leaving the house at 7:30, working, then Fringeing, and not getting home until midnight, that there's little time left for following charts - so still no sock. Meanwhile, damned Rocket has finished hers. BOTH socks. You hear that? FINISHED.

(Sorry about the "damned" part, Rene, you know I don't mean it.)

For those who have been losing sleep like me - all's well in Friendland - I've enjoyed TWO phone conversations in the past two days with my nearest-dearest, and received news that Momma R. is responding very well to chemo and all previously-imposed deadlines should be put out of our heads....double-and-triple whee!

I feel as though my Secret Pal 8 button is rude. I couldn't decide whether to use it or not, but I do love my Stewie (greatest link ever - be sure to tell Stewie to "kill Lois".). The button comes across a little stabby (the inference that one would expect pain to follow acrylic) but I do feel acrylic has its place. Largely not in my home...although there is room for non-natural fibers. My skein of Colinette Isis in Cardinal, for example, has been stashed for AGES while I wait for the perfect project. (And I don't feel I can use it until I determine what on earth possessed me to buy a $25 ball of rayon.) So the button stays, but only because I find it amusing, not because I'm mean.

I also feel I should carry extra needles and yarn with me everywhere I go. I'm constantly being told, "I really want to learn how to knit," and there's nothing I can do to make that happen! I'm surprised how many Fringe people take an interest in knitting. I'm also amused by how many people are stunned to see me knitting at Fringe. My belt, green and long and textured, from a distance resembles a snake coiled up in my lap, and I assure you that would be more acceptable at Fringe than having a pile of yarn in one's lap, so I get a lot of strange looks. Yesterday a stranger walked up and declared, "You're really knitting!" as though I had called him ahead of time and informed him I would be knitting, and he had figured I was lying. My reply? A deadpanned "No I'm not." (Then right back to the knitting.)

Monday, May 22, 2006


Once again, I have nothing to show for my weekend. You see, it's Fringe Festival time again here in Orlando, and I'm volunteering and seeing plenty of shows and there's little time for knitting, really - there are a lot of volunteer jobs that involve a fair bit of running around. I do like being a Venue Captain - it sounds very official, but it really amounts to sitting on a stool behind a little podium for about four hours, during which time two shows go up and I have to spend a total of about 15 minutes tearing tickets and handing out programs. That is PRIME knitting time. I got some work done on the Eleanora socks (although I put them aside from Fringe knitting because it was difficult to keep track of where I was in the chart with people coming up and asking questions - plus, it sucks when someone you haven't seen in AGES runs up to hug you and you have to stop them, "Wait, wait, let me put this down and mark my place in the chart!") That, and knitting for my intended Eleanora recipient is stressing me out right now - I'm having an excruciatingly difficult time getting hold of her, having not spoken with her in a LOOONG time (not even on her birthday!), and I'm beginning to worry she may be upset with me. I'm sure socks would cure that (socks cure all) but knitting the socks stresses me out now, because when you knit for someone you get all involved in thinking about them a great deal, and I keep thinking of 15 years of memories and worrying about where she is, what she's doing, how her family is holding up...I may need to make a little drive this weekend.

Anyoldway...back to yarn tales. I've picked my nifty cabled belt back up, and I'm proud to declare I've decided what to do. I think you'll be excited. I'm knitting it twice as long as I want it, like I said, and doubling it over. But - here's where I get clever - I knitted some extra plain rows to make room for the fold-over point, and then I reversed the cables so they'll run in the same direction on both sides! I know, I'm so amazing. (This is Cables 101 stuff, I know that, but it's my first cabling project and I still feel clever - it helps when Travis looks at things and declares, "Baby, you're so clever.") Then - THEN! - I'm going to use the orange portion of the skein (which I've removed) to stitch the doubled-over belt on all sides. (I love the orange portion of the Noro, but one weird orange section in the middle of one side of my mostly-green belt doesn't have the same ring to it as the lovely continuity of an orange border all the way around.) I'm so thrilled about this little project - and I don't even LIKE belts.

Knitting makes us do strange things.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I've Accomplished Nothing

I've started a pair of socks, and I LOVE THEM. I've failed to get too much done - I'm blaming Tom Cruise. (We went to see Mission: Impossible III last night.) But here we have the details:

The pattern (Eleanora) is concise and well-written and beautiful and of historic significance. The recipient is a special person, who deserves a special gift. So I bought the pattern (yeah, I bought a sock pattern, something I never had any interest in doing due to my Nancy Bush options and the myriad available free on the web...but I struggled with it and couldn't turn this one down....it's too perfect.)


The yarn is Lisa Souza's Sock! Merino, specially selected with recipient in mind. I adore the colour.

I couldn't really choose my favourite picture.


Man, the doubled fabric at the top killed. And the provisional cast-on....that was a first. My row gauge is dandy, but my stitch gauge is wa-haaay off. I've moved back down to the size 0 needles for the lower part of the cuff, and I'll knit the entire second sock on my 0s. Hopefully they won't look too different ....

Seriously. Chocolate bread. Can you think of anything more remarkable?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hi. My Name Is Alyson. And I'm A Sockaholic.

Okay, that's it, I'm callling a halt to ALL sock yarn purchases in this household. (You like how I make it sound like Travis, Brodie, and Indiana are contributing to my overabundance of fingering-weight?)

I'd almost forgotten about them, and today I received these:


Lisa Souza Sock! and Sock! Merino (which is so soft and cushy, and I cannot stop squishing the skein). Sweet Georgia Superwash Sock and Speed Demon (much to my surprise, the iffy skein I purchased because I wasn't sure I didn't want it - Dragon, the green - is my runaway favourite). Please note that Sweet's Chinois and Lisa's St. Valentine are similar enough reds as to prove that I do have a quantifiable sock yarn illness.

So my sock shelf now looks like this:


That wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't for the fact that I have completed, ah, THREE pairs of socks in my knitting life. Oh, no, that's untrue - it's three pairs plus my half-pair of Jaywalkers. Still...the fact that I have 25 skeins I haven't started yet and two more on the needles...yipes.

But just swearing off sock yarn may be too drastic. Maybe I'll just promise do my best to avoid purchasing any more for a while....

(Please note that is the same promise I made to myself four days prior to my Saturday blitzkrieg on Sip & Knit.)

Le sigh.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Learning To Fly

My purchases empowered me! I set aside my Pomapotomus socks and my shawl for Mom and tried a few little projects, in order to accomplish something new.


A tiny hat for Walter. Okay, not really.


Felting! I did it! This is a little felted bowl (sort of) for a co-worker - her birthday is coming up. She's Colombian, and I wanted to make something that would incorporate the Colombian flag. I worked off of a basic pattern from the One Skein book. I either love or hate that the red came out entirely on the bottom. The Knitpicks Peruvian Highland (blue and red) felted great. The Cascade 220 (the yellow) did not. I had to beat the crap out of the yellow part, and it's still not as well done as I would like. Now I just have to decide whether to put a tiny potted plant in it (perfect size) or chocolate. Hmmm....


My ridiculously large hat?


Nah! Another larger felted bowl for another co-worker with the same birthday...his new home is done all in blues and browns, so I gotta go pick out the perfect potpourri or something for the bowl. This one is done from Rio de la Plata wool, and it felted like a champ - I LOVE the way this one turned out. I knitted it on much larger needles than called for, but it still felted beautifully, thick and sturdy and lovely.

And then there's the thing I've been really antsy to try.


Cables! This is just a simple little Noro Silk Garden Lite belt - the pattern, terribly basic, is from Stitch n' Bitch Nation. I worked about five repeats of the pattern before I was OVER the cable needle, then I hit up Wendy's site and cruised the cabling-without-a-cable-needle tutorial. Muuuuuch better. Now, for a better color representation (I had to fidget to get the definition I wanted from the photo above.)


There's a gorgeous orange in this skein, but I'll finish the belt long before I get to it. I wish I'd worked this one in the round to make it stiffer and double-faced, and to give me more of the colors from the skein...I may knit it twice as long as I need, double it over, and seam it up.

So that's basically three new skills this weekend - felting, cabling, and cabling without a cable needle. Hurray!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A-Stashing I Will Go, A-Stashing I Will Go...

Hi-ho, the merry-o!!!

Well, as promised, I went back to my LYS today for their 35% off ALL YARN sale. I resisted the $45 skeins of cashmere I've been drooling over since I started knitting (even at 35% off, I still can't do it....you know I can't buy just one...so...no.)


Um. Yeah. And this was with a measured degree of restraint. Yesterday I had a dentist's appointment near the LYS, so I dropped in to scope the place out and plot my route. (You see, in my head, Saturday at 10:00 a.m. would find a line of knitterly women like me outside in sleeping bags, having camped out all night waiting to be the first ones in. It didn't actually go down that way, but I was there at 9:50 anyway, just to be safe.) And, I'm not ashamed to say, I actually HID that one skein of Opal you see there to make sure no one else would get it before me. The killer? I don't even LIKE that skein of Opal. But it's the only skein of Opal that she had. And I'm anxious to try Opal. So there ya go.

So...10 skeins of Noro Silk Garden, 4 of Noro Kureyon, 8 of mercerized cotton (to make coordinating baby jackets - I wished for a baby in the family, and now we have two pregnant cousins, one of whom is having twins...and the other might be too - too soon to tell, but genetics dictate it's her turn...), 6 of baby camel, two of laceweight silk merino (to be dyed), one of kidsilk, some wool for a quickie birthday gift, 8 Elizabeth Lavold Hempathy...I'm pooped!

I fell in love with a sample sweater hanging near the Hempathy, so I had to pick up the Elizabeth Lavold #8 pattern book.


It will be mine.

And yesterday, at Target, I fell upon this with gusto:


Luella Bartley for Target (why didn't someone project that before I spent a bajillion dollars on one of her pre-Target-line purses?) - perfect little beach or big-project bag. I love that the apple on the front is a pouch. I love even more that it was SEVEN DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS. I got two. (One's a gift, okay?)

And finally, I would like to unveil my spindle.


Aaaaahahahahaha!!! My own cleverness amuses me. (And, when I try to actually USE this, I'm sure my own cleverness will frustrate and annoy me.) I didn't feel like going to Michael's yesterday, so I took a cruddy plastic 10" size 10 dpn, fashioned a whorl and a hook out of Sculpey (how many seconds do you think that hook will last?) and glued it all together. Hee hee. Yeah, I'll be sure to get video of me trying to use this thing.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Reclaiming That Which Is Rightfully Mine

I established my knitting room. I love it there. It's a happy place, with an overstuffed chair and a big ottoman. The catbox moved in....grrrr....fine. The cats moved in with it. Okay, I love them. Their hair came with them, coating every surface - including that wonderful chair and ottoman. It's all good - I covered them both with a towel.

And Roosevelt, because he loves me, jumped up on the ottoman yesterday, carefully moved the towel aside, and yakked a giant hairball onto my beloved ottoman.

OUT!!! Catbox, cats, dogs, everyone OUT!!

I reclaimed my knitting room, declared it off-limits, and went in last night to sit and relax and start on some pomatamotomus tomatompatopus potatoanonymous fish socks. (Note: I'm pretty sure I'm doing them wrong.)

Not five minutes of quiet knitting passed before one cat and both dogs had joined me - Roosevelt began grooming himself aggressively, arming himself for the next time I have the gall to cover up any surface he has deemed yak-worthy. Seconds later, Travis trotted in, pulled a chair up, grabbed my laptop, and read chunks of the day's stock reports to me.

But really, I still love my domestic bliss!

Today, I will go to Michael's and purchase a dowel, a few wooden toy-car wheels, a few hooks, and go home to attempt to build myself a few spindles. I have no roving - I'll go ahead and order some - but I bet you I'm so impatient that I'll start spinning cotton balls into yarn. Actually, I probably won't get that far - while making the spindle, I'll create a tremendous mess, drill a hole in my fingernail, super-glue my lips together, get a splinter in my armpit, and retreat to declare that I have no idea how I did any of that, and would someone please take me to the hospital? (Which request, because of the unfortunate super-glue incident, will probably sound a lot like "Mrrrrrumphhh!"

Welcome to my weekend.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


If Dr. Cox (you know, from Scrubs) was a knitting instructor, right about now, he would say:

"My GOD, Nancy, if you'd taken any longer to knit this pair of socks I reaHEEElly think that all yarn in existence would have [pause for breath, shake head to right ever so slightly] risen up in revolt against you, grasping tiny DPNs and lunging at you will all their collective strength, [pause again, narrow eyes a bit more and grimace while making little jabbing gestures for emphasis] pOKing and pRODDing at you until you cry, [rapid-fire in girl voice] 'No, no, please stop, I promise to never shame myself by attempting to knit again, as my very knitterly existence is a blight upon all mankind.' But [super-fast head bobbles while deciding whether to throw a bone]...you just managed to get it in under the wire, there. Good job, Newbie."

(You have to picture me doing this for it to have the effect I want. If you haven't met me, then that might be more of a challenge for you. Suffice to say, I've been watching this show since Day One, recording episodes and subconsciously memorizing John C. McGinley's every mannerism. I could probably fill in for him on set if he's ever ill. Yeah, it's a gift.)

But here they are, in all their knitted (unblocked - hey, they're just for me) glory. Yep, I still LOVE this yarn. And yes, I realize I'll have to finish projects much more quickly if I have any hope of being the next Yarn Harlot.




Yarn: Greenwood Fiberworks cotton/lycra sock yarn in Neopolitan II
Pattern: Sockbug Hollie's Lacy Sock
Needles: A favoured set of size-one British-manufactured feather-light, super-fast, wonderfully pointy needles that were in a massive batch of eBay-purchased DPNs.
Start: April 15, 2006
Finish: May 10, 2006 (eek.)
Notes: No need to alter the pattern if you're a tight knitter. Otherwise, it might require an adjustment to the number of stitches cast on. I loosened up my gauge pretty significantly somehow for the second sock, and it's a bit saggy. (The one on the left foot...can ya tell? Heh.) My next skein will be knit up in the pattern Carolyn wrote for this yarn...then we'll compare.

I did quite a bit of the second sock last night when I finally embiggened myself enough to sit down at Sip n' Knit's knitting circle table last night. There was about an hour of milling around and mindless purchases beforehand while I tried to decide if I was feeling brave enough to pretend not to care that I didn't know a soul there. I took up only one skein of to-be-gifted sock yarn and a trinket for my SP at first...but Doni informed me that everything was 35% off. Ummm....so yeah, I fell off the yarn-diet wagon. I didn't buy as much as you'd think, though. I may, however, need to go back Saturday, when everything is once again 35% off.

In other news - I want to point out that my poor Little Bit isn't as miserable as she looked in that photo from Monday - she was fast asleep right before I took that picture, and I think I'd disturbed her, so that was more a glare than a pitiful face. It's great how completely unphased she is by that weird collar-thing, even when it causes gut-bustingly funny serious and not-at-all-amusing issues with vital tasks like getting up the stairs and sniffing around for the perfect potty spot. She's a trooper. Oh, and Brodie ate her bottle of eyedrops today. (I have no idea how he gets a hold of these things, nor why he chooses to eat things like eyedrops and super glue. But our vet is very patient, now allowing us to just call and read him a list of ingredients of whatever was ingested this week to see if Brodie needs to be brought to the vet or just allowed to, ah, work these things out himself. "He's just being a puppy," I'm told. I'd rather he not eat these things on our SOFA, but .... he's just being a huge pain in my ass puppy.)

I feel I should, for the sake of my own reputation, promise we are not completely irresponsible - we've managed to never poison each other, and our two cats and other dog are healthy, happy, and vital (if not a bit quirky) and we humbly credit ourselves with that. Oh, okay, there's the issue with Little Bit's bruised eyeball...but I'm thinking that was a Brodie-induced injury. But Brodie? Well, Brodie may be what one would term a "special" creature. By "special", I mean "possibly brain-damaged, but absolutely adorable." Sometimes I think he's extraordinarily bright....but he can be mind-bogglingly, um, off his game sometimes. He should grow out of it in about six years.

Finally: My friend Sarah took this picture in California that I just loved. Someone in Berkley wants you to know:


Monday, May 08, 2006

My Pal Stopped By To Say "Hi"

I thought that was worthy of a little pre-bedtime post. (Bringing today's total to three - rock.)

Hi Pal! (Goofy arm gestures and flailing wave-type action.)

Bitty's had her eye medication for the evening, and her satellite readouts seem to indicate it is definitely time for bed.


It's Like Cheers, Only Yarnier

Hey, if you wanna see some pretty crappy photos of a pair of socks, they're at the bottom!

I have this weird thing about being recognized. I think it comes from my extreme desire to be famous. I love when I'm out and someone recognizes me from a show I've done. I love walking into a restaurant and having servers know what I want to eat or drink. I really loved when they started saying, "Hi Alyson" at the gym before I handed over my membership card. (That day is long gone.) I loved, and this is almost embarassing, how the guy from the shoe department at Neiman Marcus would call and tell me that a sale was coming up this weekend. (Those days are also long gone...I'd rather have sock money than shoe money.)

More than anything, though, I love that Carolyn Greenwood sent me an email this morning to warn me that she was about to put up a whole heap of yarn for sale and she wanted me to know in advance, since she knew a total raid on her shop was imminent. (It's not at all sad that I took lunch an hour late so I wouldn't have to take my chances by leaving my computer...is it?)

It's funny, I got my tip-off to her yarn from the same place everyone else did (Grumperina) but I just jumped on it a lot quicker. And probably with more gusto than was really necessary. Today's purchase brings me to 13 skeins. I don't know that I even have the capability of making 13 pair of socks. (I'd like to point out that most of them will be for other people...I'm not completely greedy.) And I still have at least 12 pair of socks to be made from other lines...my Koigu, Bearfoot, Lorna's, Sweet Georgia, Lisa's Sock! yarn....I need to start making lists. (It's what I do - lists keep me sane.)

Hey, you wanna hear how stupid I am?? Secret Pal 8, right? I email my new pal, and I'm all secretive and everything and all "Haha I won't give you hints so don't ask" and clever...and she responds, very nice person, I'm liking her already...and I read it and think, "I'll answer her later"...and I pull the email back up to review it...and I blink...and I think, "No, surely I didn't just see that"...and I look away...and I look back...and yep. There it is. My NAME. Yeah, it asked for my name when I set up my super-ultra-top-secret anonymous email address and I forgot to remove it from my settings. So there's my whole entire full name in the "from" line. She was nice enough to not just laugh right at me, but she has to be thinking, "Great, I got the dumb one." And I so wanted to be good at this. Poo. Just.....poo. At least I discovered it in time for my One Skein pal to be truly secret. But, still, DAMN. I mean, I'm bright! I got into good schools! I had excellent test scores! I was on full rides at all my schools! Hey, I'll say it - I'm Smart! What the hell??


Okay, I present my new pair of socks:


What? I didn't say my new MATCHING pair of socks! And my options were too much light or not enough:


The Jaywalkers are in Artyarns Ultramerino 6 - I love the colours, but I'll be waiting a while to finish the second sock. I realized they're not superwash, and since it's Florida, I have no use for straight-up wool socks until winter. Otherwise they'll felt when I wear them, and I don't really need slippers. I am, however, really in love with the colours, even if they did pool funny on the top of my foot.


The other sock is the same half-pair of the Greenwood socks - I'm almost done with the second...I'm guessing I'll have a complete pair by Wednesday, latest. Man, if only I didn't have the pesky job thing getting in the way of my knitting.


Oh happy day! I got my pal match! I can begin spoiling at will....and I can't wait! They gave me someone very different from me in a lot of ways, which I actually find very exciting - I may discover some new things. For example, she crochets, and she's not at all a yarn snob like some people I know (points at self). So I got lucky! I feel like I should at least pick up a little crocheting, since it does come into play, and maybe if I have a crocheting pal, it will inspire me.

AND this morning the Sweet Shop was back up and running! So I ordered a few different colourways for Travis. Hurray for handdyed yarns that are vibrant but manly, I was NOT looking forward to knitting him black socks - yawn - and now I can use that black Regia Silk for something nifty. And Felicia, the brilliant girl, assessed the situation and dyed about 20 more skeins of her Angel colourway - there are still quite a few left, so now that I have mine safely ordered, feel free to click the link and pick some up yourself!

AND I got a LOT of work done on my second Greenwood sock - cast it on Friday afternoon and I'm almost done. Okay, I probably could have finished it this weekend, but I was having severe bouts of stir-craziness...Travis and his dad have the task of rewiring pretty much the ENTIRE house (all 2200 two-story square feet of it) and I locked myself and the dogs in the bedroom to stay out of the way. I even pulled my knitting out briefly at Britt's birthday party - I believe Jen even got a picture of me knitting at a party. What am I DOING? Who AM I??

Travis and I went on a date Friday night - ice cream and putt-putt. I got the blue ball (obscure-ish Tiny Toons reference). Then I lost it. So I got a yellow ball. Then I found my blue ball again. Which I stuffed in my purse. (Hey, if you love something, set it free - if it comes back....steal it.)

Oh, and for the record, the score was...oh, it's too embarrassing. Let's just say I spanked that ass. >:-D

Friday, May 05, 2006

Oh, Boo.

I was itching, burning, cracking to get into Sweet Georgia's shop yesterday and pluck free the only skeins of sock yarn I have ever seen Travis look genuinely interested in (his motocross colours - white, grey, black, red), and her server crashed - no shop until at least Monday. This is a lot of pressure. I'm stressing over this, for some reason, as if those were the last two skeins of yarn on earth.

I have to rant for a moment, and this isn't really knitting-related, but it it crafting-related: So I sold all my scrapbooking supplies on eBay just to get them out of the house - I should have just given them to a friend instead, but I'm dumb - and I didn't bother setting a reserve. I shipped by UPS instead of the post office like I normally would, and yesterday I got an email from the buyer - the box arrived busted open and some stuff had been a bit messed up. She said she'd inventory this weekend and let me know if anything is missing. Um....thanks? What will you want me to do about it? Run up to Michael's and ship new stuff to you to replace it? Oh, and I forgot to mention one thing...

She paid ONE DOLLAR for this stuff, plus the actual cost of shipping. Factoring in eBay and Paypal fees, I LOST money on this transaction. It chaps my ass that because of damage done in shipping - NOT my fault - she might gripe about a missing pair of scissors or something when she paid A DOLLAR for easily fifty bucks' worth of stuff. This is why, generally speaking, I dislike people.

On to happier knitting news: I finished another sock last night, whooo. Out of sheer determination, I managed to knit pretty much the entire foot portion, the toe decreases, graft the toe, and weave in ends - I started at about 7:00, and I was still in bed by 11:00. I was whooping ass and taking no prisoners on that poor little sock. I took one blurry picture and then my camera's batteries died. (I opted for the Canon Powershot with the flippy screen but no recharging option...good ol' AAs.) My wonderful Travis bought me a battery charger and rechargeables, but they're still in a box somewhere...so no pictures until I can dig those up.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Oh, The Humanity Llamamanity!!

This is probably the last thing Harry saw before it all went black:

(Archive photo)

This is the last thing I saw before Brodie retreated to the back corner of his crate after a stern nose-thumping:

(Archive photo)

And this is Harry after the events that transpired on the morning of Thursday, May 4 while I was recovering from a morning migraine. (Note: this did NOT help.) Warning: The images you are about to see are graphic. Discretion is advised.

(Not a dramatization.)

This is Harry, my little furry llama friend who tagged along with me when I came home from my most recent visit to Taos. I like gathering up goodies for the house from each trip, the more fiber-related, the better.

This is Harry's face after a brutal Brodie-Attack. In an attempt to remove some Brodie-slobber and nose remnants, he's been brushed with the kitty-comb (as Rooster stood by, meowing something at me that I think translated to, "You dirty trollop!")


I can do some reconstructive work on this, but Harry will not be the llama he was. For God's sake, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a .... whatever professional it would take to restore Harry to his full llama glory.

On to more positive things...I'm feeling a bit woozy again...


The first Greenwood sock is complete! I wanted to wait until they were both done, but...I...didn't. (What? I have no other excuse.) The pattern shows up not nearly as lacy as the original pattern would have in a plain old sock - but I actually like it better this way. And this sock is comfy with a capital "omfy". As always, my camera hates stitch definition, but I tried:


Oh, the colour's not quite so screaming-mimi pink as it appears here. And I guess Grumperina's probably right - it would do best in a stockinette base - check out the nearly perfect striping on the botton of the foot:


I don't normally care for self-striping variegated yarns as much as good handpainted solids or semi-solids or randoms, but I LOVE THESE SOCKS. (Er, THIS SOCK.) Good thing...I have eight more pair to make with this yarn line.

Monday, May 01, 2006

It's Knitmas in May!!

Oh Lordy! I got almost everything I've been expecting in the mail today. The post office was even tricky enough to put it all in one package locker so when I only got one key in my box, I was only expecting one package...but no! Two skeins of Greenwood cotton-lycra sock yarn (no more for a while...eight is enough), about six or seven sets of Addi Turbos, two sets of rosewood circulars, three skeins of red bamboo (that may or may not turn into what I would like it to turn into, a pattern written for a cotton blend), and a gazillion (or six-ish) skeins of hemp that I'm planning for a shawl that should be knit from linen (but, to be fair, I was told the pattern would work well in hemp, which I found for $13 PER SKEIN cheaper than the linen I wanted to use).

I have a serious problem with knitting a pattern in the yarn it calls for. Weight? Whatever. Gauge? Yeah, yeah, sure sure. Yardage? I dunno, I'm probably close...ish...

My cute cap-sleeve top may turn into a dog sweater, it may be a duvet. Can we pretend I'm a process knitter? But I'm not entirely delusional - if something is clearly not working, I'll frog. Actually, I've been known to doubt myself too much and frog even when something clearly IS working. So yeah....maybe process knitter.

(But seriously, how do I learn without doing?)